Vail Valley, Colorado, USA

The High Life

Iyna Bort Caruso

In 1962, Vail Mountain opened to the public with one gondola and two chairlifts. Today, 31 lifts have the capacity to transport more than 60,000 skiers uphill per hour.

Vail Valley is an iconic example of luxurious alpine villages among the breathtaking Rocky Mountains.  Located in Eagle County, CO the Vail Valley is comprised of Vail, Beaver Creek, Edwards, Bachelor Gulch, Cordillera, and Avon.  Vail Mountain boasts one of the largest and most popular ski destination resorts. Just West of Vail is the ski resort of Beaver Creek which hosts the annual “Birds of Prey” World Cup, and recently the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.  Its intimate village core has world-class dining, shopping, and fine art galleries. Vail Valley residents and visitors can also spend their time on the greens at Cordillera, with over 7,000 acres of mountain top splendor, four golf courses, and private Eagle River fishing. 

One of the largest ski resorts in North America, Vail has come to be one of its most popular--and most prestigious, a reputation it continues to invest in. Past the half-century mark, Vail has been getting a makeover with millions reinvested in infrastructure upgrades.

Much of the town’s sales tax revenues is generated during ski season, which experiences some 200 inches of snowfall per winter. However, the Alpine-style, pedestrian-friendly resort has year-round recreational and cultural activities, too, such as fishing, festivals, whitewater rafting and golf. Six courses are located within an hour’s radius. Summer weather is dry and comfortable.

Vail’s dramatic Rocky peaks and 5,000 skiable acres are surrounded by 350,000 federally protected acres of the White River National Forest. Limits on development have contributed to keeping residential real estate values stable.

In 2013, Barron’s ranked Vail 11th in its list of “20 Best Places for Second Homes” and called the destination a good fit, “for those who want the high life rather than the quiet life.” 

A two-hour drive west of Denver, Vail is all about the concierge lifestyle with an emphasis on ease, service and comfort. Even the sidewalks are heated.

A collection of micro-communities enjoys easy access to the mountains and offers a range of ownership opportunities. They include premium condominiums featuring fitness centers, pools, hot tubs and ski valets. In some cases, older developments are being torn down and replaced with full-service resorts. Single-family residences in low density areas push the definition of mountain architecture with reinterpretations that are as sustainable as they are stunning. Some even come with memberships to private clubs. If there’s a downside to owning a vacation home in Vail it may be the temptation to beg off the slopes and, instead, nest at home enveloped by the gorgeous Rocky Mountain views.